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Sarah V. Jones

In 1928, Sarah V. Jones became the first African American female Supervisor of colored schools in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. She served in this position from 1928 to 1964.

Sarah V. Jones

Sarah V. Jones

Born in Baltimore Jones came to the county as a highly trained teacher in 1922. By 1926, she was the principal of the two-room primary school in Churchton, Maryland. Later that year she was appointed Supervisor of the primary grades. In 1928, Jones became Supervisor of all colored schools in the county—41 one- and two-room elementary schools and the eight-room Stanton Secondary School.

In 1948, Jones received a Master of Arts degree from New York University.

As the supervisor, Jones acted as the superintendent of the colored school. She was a strong advocate for the education of colored students. She was committed to excellence and sought highly trained teachers. (It is interesting to note a commission found that the colored teachers were usually more qualified than the white teachers while she was Supervisor.) She expected her teachers to make the best of what they had. She encouraged teachers to live in neighborhoods near their students and participate in local churches. She is also remembered for bringing parents and teachers together through the Parent and Teachers Association (PTA) at each school. The PTAs sought to improve education in colored schools. The PTAs were instrumental in raising funds for the schools to use for expenses such as building maintenance, playground equipment, window shades, etc. which were often overlooked by the Board of Education.

As an outstanding educator, Jones was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, a national society for teachers. She was also involved in the lawsuit involving equal pay for colored teachers.

In 1964, just before Anne Arundel County, Maryland Public Schools desegregation, Jones retired after 42 years of service. Looking back at her career, she indicated that some of its high points included starting a long-range consolidation plan, starting a program to standardize schools statewide, and developing many handbooks and teachers’ guides. For her outstanding and groundbreaking service, a picture of Ms. Sarah V. Jones hangs in the Board of Education building of the Anne Arundel County Maryland Public School System.

Audio: Sarah V. Jones

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